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Turning pies into a dessert empire

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life, Feature, Local News.
July 5, 2012

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If you’ve had desert at Deep Fork Grille, Café Nova, among other Oklahoma City restaurants, you’ve tasted Allison Dake-Mann’s creations. But if you haven’t, just listen to these names: warm cherry bread pudding, peanut butter chocolate cake, triple chocolate cheesecake. As part of Pie Week here on KOSU, a look at that signature desert, and how her one woman operation has come to make nearly 500 deserts a week…

At the start, it was like this…

“It was extremely dry. What did I learn? I learned caramel sauce can fix anything.”

Now, she has me ready to bow down and plead for more…

“I gotta say, it’s pretty imposing, all this chocolate. Here we go…..yummm yumm.”

Okay, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. First, this is Brown Egg Bakery. But don’t go looking for a storefront. Allison does all the measuring, mixing, cooking, and baking at Deep Fork Grille in Oklahoma City. Then, the deserts go out to restaurants around the city…

“It’s exciting and it can be draining at times. It’s like that for a reason. I know that I’m busy because business is good. If it was slow that’s where I would get very concerned.”

And this is just year one…

“Something that I had always dreamed of, so I brought this to the Deep Fork Grille owners and they were very excited and very willing to take me on and it’s been wonderful ever since.”

All of this business has Allison busy day after day. Up at 6 AM, working until three, sneaks in an hour break to pick up her daughter, before getting back into the kitchen until everything’s done, routinely midnight. So do you get into rhythm?

“Oh absolutely. With me, it’s all about efficiency so I prefer to time myself and figure out how I can cut that time.”

“So are you racing against the clock then?”

“Absolutely, that’s actually my challenge for myself.”

Back to that pie. It was this light chocolate goodness, almost like she took chocolate whipped cream, gave it some weight, and fit it onto a light, flaky crust. I was trying to be a gentleman about it and resist the urge to just inhale it in one fell swoop. How does something like that come together…

“Starts with the dough…mix that together according to the instructions, and you take it out, roll it out into a circle, and put that into the pie dish of your choice.”

“And then score, which would be poking holes in the bottom. I put that into the oven and then par cook it. Take your filling of choice recipe, follow that, and then put that in.”

But there’s one thing to remember. If you try to rush through the process, you’re going to end up with a mess. Take it from someone who cooks upwards of a hundred pies for Thanksgiving…

“Pies actually are a labor of love. I would say you probably got about 2 or 3 hours if you’re making it from scratch start to finish.”

Pie Week continues on KOSU on Morning Edition tomorrow. And if you’re interested in some deserts from Brown Egg Bakery, you can order through facebook or twitter, just search Brown Egg Bakery.

So I had this moment of weakness at the end of the slice of pie.

“This makes me want to drive to Oklahoma City just to have desert.”

I think that’s why Brown Egg Bakery has about 15 deserts in rotation at all those restaurants.

2 Responses to “Turning pies into a dessert empire”

  1. J. Willis says:

    The word "dessert" is misspelled several times in this post. A desert is not a dessert.

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